August has given us two long weekends in a row and we’re not complaining. So why not make the most of it and escape to a place away from work-life stress and all the hustle and bustle? To a place where you can observe cloud-filled hills and lush greenery, where the only sound you hear is the sound of sweet birds chirping or a tropical escape with palm trees swaying gently in the wind. Insta stories with low-fi versions of songs and drops of water, you know the drill. Not sure where to go and need some recommendations? We make it easy for you with 10 relaxing excursions and stays for the coming long weekends.
1. Oleander farms, Karjat
If you have ever been to Saltt Karjat and always wished that rooms would be built there so that you can enjoy the picturesque and peaceful property a little more, there is good news for you. The owners have answered your prayers with the launch of Oleander Farms, a resort in the lap of nature. Experience comfort and luxury in the rooms overlooking the lake, by the pool or the lawn. A larger group can opt for the 3-bedroom villa, which comes with the history of the owners’ ancestors. It was the very first house to be built on the land and has been modernized to offer the same homely feel. The villa is surrounded by gardens and trees planted over 3 decades ago in addition. What’s more? More culinary options to satisfy your cravings through the multi-cuisine restaurant Saltt, a coffee house for breakfast and healthy meals, a brewery for beer connoisseurs and an upcoming pan-Asian restaurant. Fashion enthusiasts can shop from the house retail store Akashii for sustainable clothing, kids can choose from imported world-class chocolates at Cococart, wine lovers can spend some time at Vintage wines (the in-house wine store that brings wines from around the globe), and plant parents can take home a small souvenir from the home grown nursery , Kensho greenery.
2. Jehan Numa Palace, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Having been ruled by the powerful women of the royal family for over 400 years, Bhopal is popularly known as the ‘Land of Begums’. One of Beghum’s key philosophies was to preserve the city’s environment and cultural heritage, and the people behind Jehan Numa Palace carry this philosophy as their direct descendants. The palace is now a royal abode for you, standing at the foothills of the Shyamla Hills with a sweeping view of the city. Built by the last son of the Begum, General Obaidullah Khan in the early 19th century, the palace beautifully captures the family’s heritage and history of Bhopal and the royal lifestyle. So expect nothing less than royal treatment here. Heritage rooms open onto balconies overlooking the royal stables and racecourse – the undisturbed love of horses has been a significant legacy in the family. Treat yourself to royal Bhopali cuisine with dishes created from centuries-old recipes, in addition to global, modern culinary offerings. And if you’re into history, you’ll want to spend some time at the Jehan Numa Museum, located in the central courtyard, which tells the story of Bhopal and the royal family.
3. Amrapali House Of Grace, Goa
One might not consider Goa during the monsoon. But there is so much more to Goa than its sand and sea and party scene. During this season, Goa is surrounded by greenery. There are so many charming places and stays that you can visit during this time – it will give you a look at the different sides of the state. And if you are someone who loves being in the middle of green meadows and appreciates architecture, you will love this boutique hotel stay, which is a restored 100-year-old Portuguese house on the banks of the Zuari River. Amrapali House of Grace screams grandeur with its selection of expansive accommodations from a glass house and a Moroccan-themed villa (both with private pools) to cozy rooms with vintage-themed decor. Spend tea time around the pool for a front row seat to the orchestra of tropical birdsong or sunset on the waterfront veranda with a breeze filled with the scent of jasmine. You can also treat yourself to a dining experience that offers local and international flavors as well as the sumptuous breakfast spread, which is a crowd favorite here. Amrapali House of Grace is a home away from home – one that will provide immense tranquility and positive vibes.
4. Sage Cottage, Uttarakhand
Tucked away amidst the hills, lakes and forests of Jagalia Gaon lies this charming boutique homestay. The only sound you will hear is that of a Himalayan monal (a bird) and the view you will wake up to is the scenic Bhopal area. The three-room accommodation with cozy furniture and large glass windows can accommodate a group of five. The kitchen has everything for you to prepare your own meal, but of course there is also a chef who will prepare warm, comforting food for you. You can either choose to walk around the garden with bright flowers or spend some time by the fireplace with a book from the bookshelf and a hot cup. Nature enthusiasts can head out on hikes and trails from choosing to go on a picnic to a nearby pine forest or head towards Lake Naukluchiatal where you can watch the beautiful sunset.
5. Chittoor Kottaram, Kerala
A mysterious boat ride through the waters of the Kerela backwaters will take you to a royal mansion, one surrounded by palm trees and gardens, which was once the humble abode of the king 200 years ago. The historic hotel still retains the sense of grandeur and serenity for which it was originally made. The royal caretaker will enlighten you with anecdotes and stories about the palace as you take a tour of it. Single-key mansions await you for a private and luxurious stay. Your homes are dotted with wooden windows, a beautiful veranda and a backyard where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful greenery and water. And let’s not forget the Kerala specialties that come out of the kitchens here – it’s carefully planned and personalized to your taste and dietary needs.
6. Dolkhar, Leh, Ladakh
Although located in Tukcha (in the heart of the main city of Leh), Dholkar still offers the peaceful seclusion from the busy streets, but is not too far from the main city for you to access. The sustainable villas made from local materials exude a raw and robust feel while still feeling at home. Wake up in rooms with stone walls, the color of which resembles the multi-colored mountains of Ladakh. Enjoy the ravishing balcony of your private villa balcony with a cup of tea and book while you take a moment to appreciate the breathtaking scenery. The team here also gives you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the local lifestyle and culture. Enjoy freshly prepared Ladakhi meals at the villa’s restaurant Tsas by Dholkar, which means kitchen garden in Ladakhi language. The menu contains ingredients from Dolkhar’s kitchen garden and local, ethical, sustainable producers. If you have an appreciation for art, the team can help you get closer to Leh’s craftsmanship. Visit the women of Kharnakling, known for the refined textile crafts of sheep wool, pashmina and yakuld, immerse yourself in an on-site pottery workshop, or take a day trip to Chilling or a short trip to Sumdha, a village of metal workers. Not only will you leave Dolkhar feeling relaxed and nourished, but after all those artistic outings, you might just discover your new hobby.
1. Fairfield by Marriott Mumbai
Don’t feel like getting away from the city, but still want somewhere to relax? That’s what staycations are for, and a new hotel in Mumbai is waiting for you. Fairfield by Marriott Mumbai is a great place to relax in its spacious executive rooms or the luxurious presidential suites that offer runway views. The in-house restaurant Mado Mado offers local delicacies, global cuisine and interactive live stations for you to enjoy gastronomic delights. If you plan to go during the Independence Day long weekend, then you can devour the special Independence Day brunch with a 75-item spread to celebrate 75 years of independence. You can also relax with drinks and intimate music at Bisou or the rooftop infinity pool overlooking the runway. When you need some treats to satisfy your cravings in between, head downstairs to The Market, the 24-hour food and beverage pantry with products sold at MRP.
2. Hilton Bengaluru
This new business hotel is combined with the Hilton Convention Center next door and the nearby Hilton Garden Inn, making this the group’s first dual-branded property in India. Although the new Hilton property is mostly for business, it has many amenities and services that still make it a paradise for a much-needed break. Elegantly designed rooms have stunning views of the city, and the suites have a separate living area, a pantry and large bathrooms. There is also plenty to do at the hotel. Take a dip in the temperature-controlled pool, relax in the spa or read a book in the cozy library. Dine on authentic South Indian meals at the Neer dining restaurant, which offers authentic South Indian cooking and is shared between both Hilton properties. You can also head to Neo Kitchen for brunch, where a magician and some live music serve as entertainment. Choose from a range of delicious cocktails in the hotel’s bar, Double Up, which is run by a team of women.
3. ITC Narmada, Ahmedabad
As the name suggests, the new ITC Narmada draws inspiration from the Narmada river along with the architecture and culture of Gujarat. The hotel’s facade borrows influence from the 12th-century carved pillars of Toran, Vadnagar; The atrium’s stepped wall design pays homage to the architectural marvel of Adalaj Ni Vav and the river Narmada is depicted in the form of a waterfall in the center of the atrium. Although the hotel is big on design and architecture, it places equal emphasis on a luxurious stay. Choose from three types of spacious rooms or a deluxe suite, each offering ample comfort and peace. Then go on an indulgent culinary tour with multiple dining options – Adalaj Pavillion for regional Indian and global delicacies, Peshawari for food from the Northwest Frontier, Yi Jing for pan-Asian cuisine, Royal Vega offering vegetarian meals from the erstwhile royal kitchens of India and Fabelle – The Chocolate Boutique for sinful chocolates. What’s more? A large pool that invites you for a dip and a holistic spa that puts you in a zen state.
4. JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa
Had a lot of plans for the long weekend but they all fell apart? Don’t worry if you’re in Bengaluru, check into the JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa where you can enjoy an extra one-day free stay when they book for two days, with their ‘Stay for 3 Nights, Pay for 2’ offer which is only available for a limited period. The luxurious resort offers its guests a beautiful view of the Nandi Hills. The offer comes with complimentary breakfast, a dip in the temperature-controlled lagoon pool, or even choose to spend time on the yoga terrace while enjoying a beautiful sunrise. The resort hosts various fun activities which include magic shows for kids, family canvas painting, kite flying over ‘Halli Katte’, a local high tea experience and free access to fully loaded entertainment zone with selected games included and a family with JW kids club with interactive activities , a certified nanny to take care of your young children. Book us in.